By Adesina Wahab
As students in Senior Secondary School class three resume in Lagos on Monday, the Office of Education Quality Assurance has issued guidelines for re-opening of schools and urged owners to adhere to the guidelines, as reopening and assessment of schools will be simultaneously done.
The Director-General, Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, stated this while briefing newsmen in Ikeja, Lagos.
Seriki-Ayeni, who emphasized that school re-opening is centred on Senior Secondary School 3 students alone and not students in other classes, added that the released guidelines were in line with the Federal Government’s stance on the matter.
She, therefore, advised all private school owners, whether approved or unapproved, to study the released guidelines and develop a template for their re-opening plans.
According to her, “Lagos is the epicentre of Covid-19 where we have a lot of private schools, therefore safety must be first while we ensure learning continues. It is not just [physical learning but blended learning.”
She advised the general public, school owners, parents and students to continue to adhere to the safety and hygiene measures in the guidelines because the success of the re-opening of schools was contingent and very much dependent on the ability to flatten the curve as a society.
“We also want to make sure that all school owners, administrators and management staff complete online training on our website. After the training, they are expected to complete an online self-assessment form to indicate they have successfully completed the training.
“What is expected of them during the training is that they have to create their own re-opening plans based on our template on distance learning plans, blended learning plans, health and safety protocols like fumigation of classrooms, provision of running water and soap for handwashing. “Others include staggering of student’s time to maintain social distancing and taking of measurements to figure out how many students to be physically together at a point in time.
“Health and Safety officers must be available at the premises and schools must also have a plan for Ciovid-19 like having knowledge of local isolation centres. They must also have learning managers that will ensure that students are learning either at home or in school. He will keep track of assessment to measure the quality of students learning, help teachers with learning plans and the curriculum”.
The Director-General further said that after developing resumption plans, the private schools must proceed to register for clearance in readiness for re-opening by visiting the agency website on www.oeqalagos.com or www.lagoslearnstogether.com to fill in basic data about their schools and the self-assessment form to indicate readiness.
“Top-level officers of Education Quality Assurance who had undergone rigorous training on the new normal will lead teams across the state’s six education districts to access schools on re-opening preparation especially on social distancing.
“They have been trained on how to support schools and teachers and to make sure schools are updated on the entire process. The visit to schools by Quality Assurance officers will be based on information submitted online, therefore schools must go through the entire process to indicate readiness to re-open. Upon a satisfactory visit, schools will be issued clearance indication like a bar code to indicate that the school has met the requirements ”
Finally, the DG warned that the Lagos State Government would continue to seal and sanction private schools that continue to defy the closure directive of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.